Family-run car rental business celebrates 20th birthday

PUBLISHED: 11:25 22 October 2020 | UPDATED: 11:37 22 October 2020

Staff at Zest Car Rental are celebrating the firm's 20th birthday. Picture: Zest Car Rental

Staff at Zest Car Rental are celebrating the firm's 20th birthday. Picture: Zest Car Rental


A family-run car rental business in the heart of Norfolk is celebrating its 20th year in business.

The team at Dereham-based Zest Car Rental, formerly known as Economy Car Hire, are celebrating the firm’s 20th birthday.

The business was founded by managing director Rory Sexton at his parents’ home in Norfolk in the summer of 2000.

It quickly expanded to office space in Dereham, where the company is still based today, and has grown to become the UK’s leading independent car hire broker.

Mr Sexton said: “It’s fair to say this has been one of the most challenging years since launching the company in 2000.

“The coronavirus pandemic has affected many of our customers’ travel plans and likewise our business has been up and down throughout the year.

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“On a more positive note we have seen a strong increase in early bookings for 2021 which is a good indicator of growing customer confidence in being able to go abroad without worrying about travel bans and quarantines.”

Zest provides car rentals in nearly 100 countries worldwide, including the UK, Europe, USA and Australia working with some of the biggest brands including Hertz, Avis, Alamo and Sixt as well as independent hire car providers.

In 2018 Zest Car Rental became Which? Travel magazine’s only recommended car hire broker after being Which? Travel’s best rated car hire broker every year since 2013.

Over the last 20 years customers of the Dereham firm have collectively driven over 283million miles - enough to drive around the earth more than 11,378 times.

Mr Sexton said: “Unfortunately, covid-19 restrictions have curtailed any plan for a party so instead I would like to thank our amazing team and many thousands of loyal customers for helping us to grow.

“We have certainly come a long way since starting out as Economy Car Hire in a bedroom at my parents’ house.

“Of course, it remains to be seen what winter holds for us all but we’re looking forward to being able to properly celebrate our 21st birthday next year.”

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